Report on my 2019 visit to Mbollet's OGS-sponsored pupils
By Jenny Brown
Salusbury Deputy Head to 2018
The sponsored children are overseen by teacher Maget Njie, who was actually in Salusbury for training in 2016. She took me and Gill Self and David Hodge around the village one hot afternoon to try to find everyone.
It was an important thing to do as the initial three years of support for scholarships by Hedsor Parish Church come to an end in July 2019. Children were sponsored up to Year 6 and once they left the sponsorship was applied to a student at the bottom of the school.
Gill, David and I were taken to visit 8 families that are being supported by Hedsor. The visits to the homes confirmed how needy all these families are. We were in no doubt that without this support, the children would not be attending school. At present the amount each family is receiving is £25 for the year. We felt it would be good if this could go up slightly, were any new sponsors to come forward. The children also have needs around nutrition and healthcare which could then be met.
Three children from the original list have now graduated from the school – Mam Biram Bah, Wally Jallow and Nyimasata Jawara.
We also did not manage to visit Jainaba Sowe and Jarry Njie but have heard through the teachers that they are doing well.
All families were very welcoming and were happy to talk with us and share how their children were doing. All were incredibly grateful and sent their sincere thanks to those who are supporting them. All said they used the money to buy uniform, shoes and stationery needed for school. All the families said progress was good except there was one child, Fatou Bah, that hadn’t moved up the two classes in the two years, but had moved up one and found learning difficult.
We looked through the exercise books of all the children. At the end of the school year in July we have asked to obtain official reports and attendance from the school.
Saikou Chorr was sponsored for 3 years.
Saikou was completing Year 6 when we saw him. Sadly we have just learned that his mother died this summer and his future is uncertain.